Is there anything better than a good old-fashioned dip? Creamy, versatile, and comforting, dips are a surefire crowd-pleaser for any occasion, and we’re not calling them old-fashioned for nothing — but we’ll get to that in a minute.
With the Super Bowl coming up, now is the time to be on top of your dip game. If you’re hosting or attending a party for the big game, you’ll most likely want some dip to be a part of the menu. Serve one, serve two, serve as many as you’d like, but there’s no better party than one that has some chips and dip out on the table. To help you rev up your dip game, we’re turning to the one person who knows them best: grandma.
OK, maybe your grandmother wasn’t the one who was whipping up dips for you as a child, but there’s something about dip recipes that stirs up nostalgia for us, and we’re sure you can agree. Back in the day, the 1950s to be exact, there was a dip explosion; the versatile appetizer became a popular mainstay on many cocktail party menus. In an era when convenience was everything, dips were a hit because they often only required simple ingredients, a quick stir of the spatula, and some chips to create an instant party favorite.
Numerous cookbooks during the decade, from The Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer in 1953 to Martha Deane’s Cooking for Compliments in 1954 and Betty Crocker’s Picture Cookbook in 1956, were bursting with dip recipes, and soon enough the appetizers started appearing on every American table. Dips were everywhere, and serving ware like "chip-and-dip sets" became common during the era. Dips' popularity held steady throughout the decades following the 1950s and they remain extremely common party dishes today.
So where did this hysteria over dips come from?
Dehydrated soups, it seems. Created in the 1930s, the packets didn’t become popular until '40s when more and more soup companies started experimenting with them in the spirit of competition. It wasn’t until 1952 when the ultimate dehydrated soup was created: Lipton’s Onion Soup Mix. We call it the ultimate because of what it became, thanks to a California cook who decided to mix it with a little sour cream and dunk a chip into it only two years later. The dip, and the soup mix that made it, instantly became a hit and sales for Lipton’s soup mix soared. Eventually, the dip recipe would become a permanent fixture on the mix’s package. From there, the idea of "dips for chips" was born.
We can't deny dips' appeal, so without offending grandma, we’ve revisited some of the most popular dips from years past and have given them a little update. All of our favorites are here, with our own special take on them. No one can argue with the brilliant combination of spinach and artichokes, and we think you’ll like our version of the dip. For Southerners, you’ll like our take on the classic beer cheese dip à la bread bowl, and we can guarantee that even the most seafood-adverse will eat our salmon spread. So Super Bowl fan or not, it’s ready to get dipping. Whip out your poodle skirts and tie on your apron and join us on our journey with your grandmother’s dips.
Anne Dolce is the Cook Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @anniecdolce